Zias’ streak ends at 10 in tourney

CNJ staff

PHOENIX — After seeing a 10-game winning streak ended earlier in the day, the Eastern New Mexico University softball team opened bracket play with a 10-0 shellacking of Missouri Western, then lost to UC San Diego 1-0 Friday night in the Schutt Sports Division II Leadoff Classic.

Junior left-hander Natalie Woodside (5-2) tossed a six-inning, two-hit shutout with six strikeouts against the Griffons. First baseman Anna Hershkowitz ended the game on the eight-run rule with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the sixth, her fourth home run of the season.

Leadoff hitter Laura Thompson added 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run for the Zias (11-5).

Three errors in one inning allowed the only run of the game for UC San Diego, the top seed in the Gold Bracket. Kristen Cruickshank (4-2) took the tough-luck loss, allowing four hits and striking out three.

The Zias, seeded No. 7 in the Gold Bracket, were limited to one hit in the game. ENMU will face either Missouri Western or Notre Dame de Mamur (Calif.) in its next game at 11:30 a.m. today.

Earlier Friday in pool play, defending Great Northwest Athletic Conference champion Western Washington scored four times in the bottom of the first and went on to a 7-1 victory over the Zias, who beat Minnesota State-Mankato 3-1 and Cal State Stanislaus 2-0 on Thursday.

Western pitcher Jessica Rosencrants (1-1) escaped a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the first and went on to an eight-hitter. Meantime, the Vikings broke through in the first against ENMU starter Nicole Dickson (2-1), capped by shortstop Caitlin Dotlich’s three-run homer.

The Zias broke through in the third when Thompson led off with a double, took third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Alex Mayo Otis’ groundout to short.